Trade between China and RCEP member countries is expected to grow by 5.3% to 12.6 trillion yuan in 2023.

Photo: VCG

Trade between China and the other 14 Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) member countries will reach 12.6 trillion yuan ($1.77 trillion) in 2023, up 5.3 percent from the period before the agreement took effect in 2021, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) of China said on Friday.

Despite persistent global inflation and economic slowdown last year, positive trade growth once again demonstrated the tangible benefits that the trade agreement brought to member countries. RCEP marked its second anniversary on January 1.

China's exports to RCEP member countries reached 6.41 trillion yuan, an increase of 1.1 percent in terms of export share compared to 2021 to 27 percent. Lithium batteries, auto parts and flat panel display modules all maintained substantial export growth.

Meanwhile, China's imports from RCEP member countries reached 6.19 trillion yuan, accounting for 34.4 percent of the country's total imports.

From the point of view of organizational benefits, real effects are constantly being published. The RCEP provides for bilateral free trade agreements entered into between China and other members.

Signed on November 15, 2020, the 15-member RCEP is the world's largest free trade agreement, covering about 30 percent of the world's population and accounting for 30 percent of global trade. The agreement entered into force on January 1, 2022 for China and nine other countries, with the Philippines being the last country to ratify the agreement.

In 2023, under the RCEP, preferential imports amounted to 90.52 billion yuan, reducing tariff payments by 2.36 billion yuan. Major imported goods include plastics, machinery and parts, and organic chemicals.

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In addition, preferential exports totaled 270.07 billion yuan, eligible for a tariff reduction of 4.05 billion yuan. Major exports include inorganic chemicals, clothing and accessories.

Nationwide, 723 approved exporters have independently issued 12,000 RCEP certificates, with a total value of 10.18 billion yuan.

Lü Daliang, GAC spokesperson, said that in the past two years, GAC has implemented customs procedures and trade facilitation rules with high standards, strengthened international cooperation in animal and plant quarantine and food safety, and ensured that preferential rules of origin are effective.

In the next phase, international exchanges and cooperation with customs offices of RCEP member countries will be strengthened to create new opportunities for the development of enterprises in the region and inject new impetus into regional economic cooperation, the spokesman said.

Global Times

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